Sunday, August 17, 2008

시원해 졌다

It seems like "sambok" (삼복, 三伏), the hottest month of summer, has finally come to an end. Temperature suddenly dropped yesterday afternoon. The sultriness of summer was no longer there in the air and it felt like autumn has arrived. The sky was high and blue and the wind was cool and refreshing. I just hope that this good weather can last until next Sunday.

Yesterday, we have a class outing with our teacher. We met at Exit 1 of the City Hall Station at 4pm and then went visiting the Deoksugung (덕수궁, 德壽宮). Our teacher was our guide cum photographer. After that, we walked to the nearby Gyeonghuigung (경희궁, 慶熙宮) but its door was closed just when we were about to enter. We ended up in the Seoul History Museum instead. After the museum visit, our teacher treated us to dinner at 나무가있는집. Translated literally, it means the house with a tree. I didn't see any tree though. Anyway, it is supposed to be a famous restaurant going by the number of photos and signatures left behind by supposedly famous people. The restaurant is well-known for its home-made tofu.

We have 두부전골 (spicy tofu stew) and 동동주 (a kind of Korean rice wine). 동동주 came in a pot. Using a ladle, our teacher scooped out one small cup for each of us. He finished the rest since no one among us is a good drinker or dare to admit to be a good drinker like him. During the dinner, our teacher taught us some table etiquette which many Koreans these days are not practising. He said that when the eldest person at the dining table has not finished his meal, the juniors are supposed to keep their spoon in the bowl even though they may have finished their meal. Keeping the spoon in the bowl means that one has not completed eating while placing the spoon on the table means that one has finished his meal. Hence, the juniors can only place their spoon on the table after the eldest person has finished his meal. It may seem pretentious but its Korean etiquette.

Then our teacher asked when is our departure date and where do we plan to visit before we leave Korea. I said that I have visited Korea for eight times so there isn't any particular place in Seoul that I would want to visit. In response to my reply, our teacher said something which I quite agree. Whenever you visit a place, it is not what you see or buy that matters. It is the people who you get to know that will eventually form your memory and that is what matters. I knew at that moment that the people who sat at the same dinner table with me has already become part of my memory.

We finished our dinner with a cup of nice and cool 식혜 (a sweet drink made from fermented rice). On our way back, our teacher recommended that we should take bus 273 back to Hoegi instead of the subway. His idea was that we should see the night of Seoul. So we all took bus 273. When bus drove past the Korea University, I was captivated by its beautiful buildings and lightings.

석조전 (石造殿) in Deoksugung

Deoksugung Art Museum

The Gyeong Hui (Kyung Hee) Palace

The Seoul History Museum

Buildings shone like gold during sunset outside Seoul History Museum


  1. Wow..i thought i was sick that time..cos suddenly felt cold..
    But i liked the weather like that ^^ the wind especially :D

    So is it end of summer yet?? cos my friend told me summer is till end of Aug, but now the weather so cool...
    이렇게 너무 시원해요 ^^

  2. Perhaps summer ends early this year. The weather forecast seems to suggest that this weather will continue to last for another week.
    나도 시원한 날씨를 좋아해요 ^^